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Appellate Court Rules to Affirm Lower Court’s Ruling (that Prop 8 is UnConstitutional)


For those who haven’t already heard,

A federal appeals court on Tuesday declared California’s same-sex marriage ban to be unconstitutional, putting the bitterly contested, voter-approved law on track for a likely appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that a lower court judge correctly interpreted the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court precedents when he declared in 2010 that Proposition 8 – a response to an earlier state court decision that legalized gay marriage – was a violation of the civil rights of gays and lesbians.

You can read more here

There is a “however” in the ruling.  Gay marriage may not resume until the deadline for sponsors of the original bill banning gay marriage to file an appeal to the full 9th Circuit panel of judges.

The ruling is also a vindication for Judge Vaughn Walker, whom Prop 8 sponsors (and right-wing pols) claimed was “biased.” The claim of bias is particularly amusing and ridiculous given that to follow that logic, one would have to say that neither gay nor straight judges could stand in judgment because of the implicit bias “inherent” in their own orientation. There would be no one left to rule, which would, come to think of it, mean that we’d just have to stay the heck out of other people’s lives.  

  • glennbear

    Hopefully this means that the VA prohibition is in jeopardy.

  • KathyinBlacksburg

    I am not that optimistic about SCOTUS, though.  

  • Mike1987

    There are other cases moving up the federal system and this was confined to CA. It’s a move in the right direction but I’m more concerned with the Democrats that voted to declare me less than human and deny me the right to adopt an unwanted child simply because I have a strong 22 year relationship. DPVA at work………… NOT…

  • epb22

    The fact that the court cites Romer v. Evans in the first couple of pages tells you everything you need to know about the limits of this ruling. This falls in the line of cases where a community is stripped of existing rights rather than when they are denied a certain right. Romer overturned a CO constitutional amendment that said no city or county could pass laws/ordinances making sexual orientation a protected class – essentially, no city or county could pass laws that prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex – after a few localities had passed those kinds of laws. The court frames Prop 8 similarly. CA had granted the right to marry to same-sex couples and then took it away for no reason other then animus towards that group.

    Granted, there is great stuff in the opinion about why the typical justifications for treating same-sex marriage differently then male-female marriage are flawed and, of course, Romer eventually led to Lawrence v. Texas (striking down state sodomy laws). One more small step towards equality.